Sharks Facing Injury Troubles Down The Stretch

The San Jose Sharks are facing injury troubles down the stretch. Forward Matt Nieto and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic  will miss time with injuries sustained in a game against the Arizona Coyotes earlier this week. Vlasic apparently was injured on a play involving Coyotes forward Shane Doan and was not comfortable on his right leg. Nieto also was injured in the same contest after blocking a shot in the second period.

Sharks Facing Injury Troubles Down the Stretch

The Sharks losing Vlasic for any amount of time is of concern. When he was injured back in December, San Jose went 0-2-1 in three games without the veteran rearguard. The soon-to-be-29-year old Montreal native currently is fifth in team scoring with eight goals and 31 assists. Arguably the most important asset is the 23 minutes-plus ice time he logs each night for the recently surging Sharks.

Forward Matt Nieto is reported to be out longer term, but still day-to-day and likely back before the playoffs. Nieto entered into his third year in the NHL looking to build on two solid seasons, only to see his offensive production slide to eight goals and 17 points.

The Sharks also announced the recall of defenseman Dylan DeMelo, who along with Tommy Wingels will fill the two vacated line-up spots.

Wingels will turn 28 next month and recently returned from injury. However, he has not been able to crack the line-up, but will take Nieto’s spot on the active roster. Wingels has had a tough year at both ends of the ice, registering only 15 points in 56 games. Wingels’ plus/minus of -13 is second only to the -16 rating of Patrick Marleau. His possession numbers have been average as well, posting a 50% rating when the game is tied.

The Sharks did add Roman Polak at the trade deadline, but Polak has not meshed well with defensive partner Brenden Dillon. DeMelo returning to the line-up will present roster options for head coach Peter DeBoer, who might elect to mix-and-match his defensive pairings. DeMelo and Dillon combined for a solid final pairing for the Sharks, after struggling to find consistency in their bottom-two defenders. DeMelo has played in 33 games this season, posting two goal and two assists.

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